Video Game Reviews and Mods – Fun with Controllers!
Game Reviews and Things to do During Down Time

Apr
28

Grand Theft Auto/GTA is probably the most controversial video game series in history. Even more so than Counter-Strike, GTA has become the scape goat whenever someone who once played video games ends up killing someone. Usually the psychos making this claim are right-wing nuts who care more about video game control than gun control. I guarantee if someone is shot by someone who plays video games within the next few months, this game will be to blame. But the roll of video games and violence (or lack there of, as teenage violence has gone down since the release of these games) is subject for another discussion. Here I am going to talk about my first impressions with this game.

ITS FUCKING BEAUTIFUL

IGN gave it a 10. At this point I cannot approve or refute this claim, as we were only playing around in the first zone and had not unlocked much. The city is gorgeous: you can see the texture on buildings, street signs jump up at you, and neighborhoods look good enough to live in. All the details are perfect: if you shoot at a car, it will leave a bullet hole. Shoot at someone inside a car, not only will the window crack, but there will be blood on the window. You can’t blow off limbs, but if you do kill someone, they will ragdoll.

The storyline is also fantastic, if the plot is a bit cliched (then again, what video game doesn’t have you go from one place to another doing the same shit infinitum): go to one place, shoot, then drive. But there is also a dating system where you play mini games against the NPC like bowling, darts, or pool. You are quickly introduced to a number of unique characters, and the learning curve makes the game go smoothly.

Of course, you can’t have a GTA without stealing cars. You can car jack people without a weapon, but be warned, some of them will charge back to the car (at one point this happened, the guy got caught on the door, and we dragged him around the city). With a weapon, they calmly get out of the car and then run away. Stealing a parked car, you will break the window and then hotwire the car by rapidly pressing L1 or R1.(this is for those who can’t pay attention when they tell you in the game). Hot wiring can be difficult, especially when the cops are shooting you. Speaking of cops, a new feature applied in the game is getting held up. Now if you press X, you can run from the cops. They will shoot you, and you will get two stars, but you still may escape.

Driving cars is now like driving a real car: you CANNOT break on a dime. If you are going fast, be prepared to sideswipe into buildings and other cars. And the handling on difference vehicles is quite obvious: crappier cars drive like crap; SUVs drive slow but will knock anything away; sports cars are fast, but you will crash out. Rain effects decrease handling dramatically. Certain crashes aren’t as spectacular as they could be – if you are in a crap car going top speed into on coming traffic, when the two cars hit, they just make a thud instead of a massive wreck. SUVs on the other hand wreck other cars. We also discovered that you can get ejected out of your car if you crash at the right angle. The said can be said of oncoming drivers.

Like always, GTA IV epitomizes sandbox environments. There is so much to see and do, that two games will never be the same. And the way that you die (the screen goes gray and enters into slow mo) is a nice feature that also alerts the other players that it is there turn to have a crack at this magnificent game.

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Apr
28

Wap and mobile (.mobi) sites, for those of you unaware of what these are, are sites designed to be viewed on mobile devices, such as cell phones. That doesn’t mean you can’t view them with a regular browser, they just appear stretched as you can’t fit a lot into a 2 inch screen.

There are some decent mobile sites out there, and I’d like to share some focus on them.

WammaJam: A Mobile Directory, WammaJam is short and to the point. With concise text on each page, it focuses on what you want to see without having to scroll around.

321Quick: Another Mobile Directory, this is on the opposite side of the spectrum. All the information is on the one page, so if you are a master of the ctrl+f on a cell phone, this will work.

ThumbPlay Mobile: Ringtones, movies, and games for your cell phone. Would I pay for any of this? No. But I also don’t pay for MP3s. If you are the type that buys cellphone realtones, this is your best stop, as ThumbPlay actually gets contracts with certain artists.

The fact of the matter is this: I have a cellphone that was old when I got it 4 years ago. It has no camera or web browser. I like this fact as it allows me to do what I need from a cellphone – make calls, send text messages, and tell me what is the time. That’s all I need. But if you are one of those with a mobile phone that has the technology to support these items, by all means have fun.

-Mike

Apr
25

Let me get something out in the air: while I am a fan of Japan, its culture, food, history, impact on gaming and animation, etc. I do not like Japanocentricity. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, watch or play anything from Japan: does that game or show take place in Japan? Japanocentricity is the focus that everything happens in Japan. For example take the cartoon/manga Bleach. The Soul Society/After Life takes place in a place that looks like Japan, with soul reapers all having Japanese garb and wielding katanas. That means if you’re from Belgium, and you die, you end up in Japan.

In the game Earth Defense Force 2017, Earth is being invaded by Aliens and you have to defend, guess what, Japan (You know what Japan, you might as well call it Japan Defense Force). Now I will admit that we as Americans have a very Americancentric outlook. Most of us don’t even know or care about the EU. However lets quickly compare the United States and Japan: America has a total area of 9,826,630 km^2; Japan has 377,873. America has a population of 303,915,000; Japan has 127,433,494. Granted Japan has a large population crammed into that tiny island chain, but come on, if you were invading earth, would you try to take out the dominant government with the third largest area and produces a ton of resources and food stock, or would you try to take out a tiny island with no real strategic value whatsoever? Somehow everyone always picks Japan.

Aside from this issue, the game is actually fantastic. It may seem like an updated N64/Playstation era game, for $20 and 2 player co-op, who are you to complain. This is a run and gun type game against hordes of enemies, most of which are either giant ants or spiders. Oh, this game is freaky, especially when you have to go into the caves where the aliens are breeding. But with unlimited ammo, you should have no problem dealing with the waves of enemy hordes.

Basically you (and your buddy because this game is great with co-op) choose two weapons and go out to stop the aliens. You start with a basic Assault Rifle and Grenade, and each level enemies drop weapon crates which unlock new weapons, which have stats like range, magazine, rate of fire, accuracy (based on the Japanese S+ to F scale), and reload time. Weapon types include Assault Rifles (large magazine, B+ to S+ aim), shotguns, rocket launchers, sniper rifles, grenades and grenade launchers, and special weapons (which include missile launchers and sniper turrets). Our choice: we unlocked an Assault Rifle that had S+ Accuracy and a huge rate of fire. It didn’t do the most damage, but it would lock up enemies (who freeze when they get hit). Other than that, there was a powerful rocket launcher and sniper rifle we were fond of, as well as some nifty grenades.

The enemies are pretty limited, but come in huge swarms. The first type are giant ants who spit acid at you from their ass/thorax. Then flying craft shaped like mechanical wasps that our ultra-powerful sniper rifle could take out in one shot. The Mr. X type enemy are giant robots with huge guns. These were the things are Assault Rifle would freeze in its tracks. But what about the bugs? Here come the jumping giant tarantulas that shoot web, which causes continual damage. There’s also Scarab rip offs, only bigger, and that’s about as far as we got.

But were forgetting other nifty features, like the environment is destructible. You usually fight in cities, with Giant bugs crawling all over buildings. Well, not a problem. Launch a missile at one, and *boom* bugs and building bits fly through the air. A fence in your way? Just shoot it and continue to back pedal to safety. There are a few vehicles, like a tank, a speed bike, and a mech suit. The Bike is fast, but its weapon is pointless. Its only good for grabbing Weapon and Armor Crates (which give you more health, by the way). The Tank is fast and great for taking out swaths of bugs, or pushing your partner around the map faster. The mech has jumpjets, and three types of weapons. Also takes 20 minutes to turn.

So, this game has customization, destructible environments, coop, killin’ lots o’ bugs, over 50 levels, oh, and the other soldier npcs are worth it alone for their dialogue. Wait for gems like
Soldier1: Somebody cover me!
Soldier2: Do it yourself!

Again, for $20, you can’t go wrong with this game.

Apr
24

For those of you that don’t know, I play CCGs/TCGs. I started with Magic: The Gathering back in 6th grade, fall out of it every few years, get back into it, repeat. I also have significant collections of Star Wars: CCG and Legend of the Five Rings (I also have some Pokemon cards; I thought they would be a good investment.). Recently however, I’ve gotten into the WoW TCG.

This makes sense for a number of reasons: 1) I like card games. 2) I like WoW. 3) I love wasting money on overpriced cardboard (I also have Star Trek cards). However, my friends and I got into the game for an ulterior motive. Loot cards.

For those of you unaware, every set of WoW TCG cards comes with 3 loot cards that are redeemable in game. Some, like the mounts, are worth hundreds or thousands of dollars on eBay (which would reset all the collective money lost on cards… maybe). Others, like the pet biscuit my friend Ricky (he’s pulled two so far), you couldn’t sell if you wanted, and are merely cosmetic. But for all those klunkers, there are some diamonds in the rough, and I actually got one the other day.

As I play on a PVP server, my friends and I enjoy griefing. Hey, its not our fault you rolled Alliance. But we don’t just kill and spit. No, we like to add salt onto the wound. In the past, my friends would build a campfire, and drop a Vargoth. Now, we can do that, and drop a picnic umbrella with barbeque. That’s right, I got the loot card. Next, we are going to try to get the fishing chair to complete our grief set. Yes, we are assholes.

Apr
13

We’ve all heard of the big name production companies: Miramax, 20th Century Fox, Universal, Etc.  There also happen to be a number of independent production companies out there, one of the more infamous being Troma.  Never heard of Troma?  You’re lucky, because the name might as well be Trauma, seeing as how the films are so bad, that’s the state in which you’ll end up.

Troma is known for producing independent films that are all way too long, involve mindless violence, random sex/rape scenes, and low budget locations and casts.  However they did have a moment with the big boys.

One of their early films, the Toxic Avenger, was effectively an Urban Swampthing: a geek gets dumped into a vat or mutagenic ooze, turns into a superhero, beats the shit out of bad guys.  For at least 3 movies.  Anyways, in the early 90s, mutants were big, and Lloyd Kaufman, the genius behind Troma somehow convinced someone that they could market a kids show off of Toxie, called The Toxic Crusaders, where Toxie and other freaky mutants protect the city from bad guys.  I watched the cartoon, and even had a Toxie action figure.  Hey, it was the early 90s, I wasn’t even 10 yet.

As the story goes, as a fan of the cartoon, with an action figure, I went into a local video rental store (because this was in the days before the total control of Blockbuster Video and ensuing control of Netflix), saw Toxic Avenger Part 2, and told my parents I wanted to see it.  They read the box, were very skeptical, but I convinced them that since I had the action figure, it couldn’t be bad.

I was wrong.  Remember what I said about the ultra violence, rape, and nudity.  Now imagine an 8 year old going into this thinking he’s going to watch a live action cartoon, and instead gets that.  It scars him for life.  The problem is, these movies will scar anyone for life, no matter what their age.

Recently my weekend group has been bombarded by viewing a plethora of bad films, and then taking out our aggression for such god awful drek in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.  So I thought I would take a moment to review two Troma films that we have recently been stupid enough to watch.

SGT. Kabukiman NYPD

Yes, that is the actual title.  The next films title is just as horrible.  The plot is that there is a long and complicatedly drawn out celestial event that is about to happen, involving a dragon going through the rings of Jupiter, and a monkey riding a jaguar, after a nubile has been devoured.  Or something.  The only reason I can recall that much is that they mention this event every 10 minutes in the film until it actually happens.  The characters are a cop who gets the powers of Kabukiman and while trying to be serious is a total goof ball, not in the good way; his “Japanese” girlfriend/trainer whom teaches him in the ways of Kabukiman to thwart this evil prophecy, and have a graphic and intense sex scene for like 20 minutes with the hero; the cops partner, a large breasted woman whose only purpose is to get gang raped in a park; various thugs, a black preacher, some lame cops, and the villain.  There is also a young baboon that someone carries to my horror (I am afraid of baboons, and was shocked to witness the thing not devouring someones face) who also uses a gun at one point.  There is a cheap foam monster.  The only part worth watching is a choreographed chase scene that ends in an explosion.  The movie is so bad I do not recommend it to anyone, no matter how into mind-numbingly painful movies you are.  It was so bad, I really was pissed off that I sat through it.

Surf Nazis Must Die

I told you this had a bad title.  An earthquake measuring 8.6 on the ricter scale kills over 80 thousand in California, turning it into a deserted Mad Max-style post apocalyptic wasteland where rival gangs fight due to the lack of control.  Or so you’re told.  While there are gangs, the largest is actually of 6 kids on skateboards, the second are the Surf Nazis with a whopping 5 members.  Also in the wasteland is a retirement home, a pawn/head shop, and people enjoying strolls on the beach.  I know if I was living in California and a quake destroyed most of it, killed some of my friends, I would also enjoy casual beach treks in gang populated areas.  To give them credit, they did find a great location: a beach in California where there are oil wells on the beach.  See, they don’t even need to cordon off an area, since no one would go to the beach anyway.  From the box, you assume that this will be a revenge story of a large angry black mother trying to avenge her son who was murdered by the Nazis.  This plotline exists for about 10 minutes in the movie, and all t the end.  The rest of it is a story about the Nazis, who are all gay save their leader, Adolf, who is bi.  This becomes a running joke amongst the other gangs and the Nazis themselves.  They also deal with a Warriors inspired “joining of the gangs,” where you get to see the Neon Tye dye early 90s surfers, the Surf Samurais, and a group of middle aged guys in wetsuits.  As with the other Troma film, this one is way too long, and while terrible, it actually wasn’t as bad as Kabukiman.  Still, I don’t suggest this.  Although the music was pretty intense and enjoyable.

Fortunately we have spaced in bad, but good, movies, as opposed to these just bad ones.  I think Eric the Viking is next on our list, and I’m actually looking forward to that.

Apr
10

As my title is “Fun with Controllers,” I thought I probably should post something dealing with, well, controllers. Luckily there has been an influx in news about controllers, which makes the situation a bit easier.

Nintendo’s New white GameCube Controller: I of course asked myself “Do they even still make the ShameCube?” Then I realized it is actually for all those people like me who enjoy playing Super Smash Bros. with the GameCube controller and not the WiiMote. Thank you, Nintendo, to giving in to our stubborn demands. Unfortunately, we are also cheap, and will just use our GameCube controllers instead of buying a white one to match our Wiis. In actuality, this is just another example of Nintendo trying to rake in profits from different color schemes, like they did with GameBoy Color and Nintendo64.

Playstation 3 Gets Rumble Controllers: My opinion – Its about damn time. Ever since Nintendo64, we have enjoyed our rumble packs. It gives a new sensation to gaming. First we had visual, then the feature of sound was added to games. But now, vibration! My controller shakes when something happens now? Awesome. In all honesty, this is what the PS3 needed. We’ve had rumble since PS1, and there was that lacking feeling in the controllers. I wanted it to shake when I got shot. Now it can. But at $55, it can wait. Hell, most games already come on the XBox 360, which has rumble, so I’m good until MGS4.

XBox360 Wiimote?: Yes, and while it will probably be a great addition to the XBox 360 in terms of bringing in new generations of gamers, from a Silver Age Gamer like myself, I think it is one of the stupidest ideas ever. I hate the Wiimote. When I play video games, I play them because I like playing video games. I don’t play video games because “I want the experience of swinging a sword around!” If I wanted that, I’d swing a fucking sword around and use my imagination like I did when I was at my friends house last weekend. Quite frankly, thumb pads and sticks are good enough for me. They have been for the past 20 years. Anyways, the Newton, as it is called, is just a preliminary sketch, and would suck if this is the actual design. Nevertheless, if this is the trend, be sure to see gimmicky XBox360 games in future, like Master Chief Sports!

If you may have noticed, all of the links go to Gizmodo, one of my favorite sites. And yes, this was on controller NEWS. Figure a post in the future on actually modded controllers.

-Mike

Apr
07

For those of you familiar with this blog, or my personal tastes, you will know I am not a fan of the Wii. I think it is an incredibly gimmicky system designed to bring non-gamers into the video game industry. It also is not revolutionary. Swinging a control technology has been around for years, and we all laughed at those commercials with the lame bat attached to a baseball diamond that you swing at a tv for realism. Oh, but the second Nintendo makes something, it is seen as revolutionary, and look, everyone is playing Wii Sports! Wow, thanks for making even more dumbasses ruin video games for the rest of us, Nintendo; fuck you! (and yes, I know that I am wearing a Nintendo hoodie in my avatar).

Anyways, they did bring something that my friends and I can get behind (seeing as how we are bored out of our skulls of FPSs). Super Smash Bros. Brawl, or SSBB, Super Smash Bros. 3, or whatever the fuck you want to call it. Its here, doesn’t require the Wiitard mote, and has brought back classic Nintendo party gaming (party gaming never left us: we have always had Mario Carts, Parties, Guitar Heroes, and Rock Bands.)

Party gaming, specifically Nintendo, really started with the N64. The ability to have four people play on a game made those other people who used to have to watch now able to participate as well. This created in my youth weekends spent playing Goldeneye, Mario Cart, and the original Super Smash Bros. These games moved on to the next gen with Mario Cart Double Dash and Super Smash Bros. Melee, and thankfully they brought SSB to the Wii, and we will soon be getting the new Mario Cart.

If you are looking for top notch graphics, look not ye here. It looks like a crisper version of the previous games. Hell, Mr. Game & Watch may not have changed at all. But characters still move as smooth as always. But graphics are not what you come here for. Super Smash Bros. has always been a game where any player of any type can get into the game and kill people with the right character. Don’t expect to pick Lucas and clear the board, but you may have more luck with Fox or Link.

Speaking of characters, the original cast is back, as is most from the second game, and a slue of new characters (Snake?). Marth, who was originally a hidden character in the second game has now replaced Roy, with Ike being his hidden (and granted its fun that my name rhymes with Ike’s, but damn is he powerful, and I like to add an M to when the crowd cheers for him). I’ll go into my favorite characters further on. They have also added some new features to the game play. Items are still the same: the fan is great, the Pokeball can be hit or miss, and you can become METAL! , but there are some new ones as well.  There are three “artifacts” since I have no idea what they are, but if you get all three, you get to send a missile attack on the screen that knocks out anyone it connects with. Likewise, there is the new SuperSmash. An orb appears that must be hit. Whoever does gets a SuperSmash. They are all different: some are based on proximity, like MetaKnights; some affect the whole screen at once, like Lucas’; and others are controllable, like Samus’ canon, or Pikachu’s ball.

The stages kinda took a major hit, as in the designers were blindfolded, shot a few times, and then from their stacked corpses the levels were made. Now all the games have had tiny, two level battlefields, but for crying out loud, they are almost all like that now. In the past, a few stages would make us cringe, now, its like half. The Mario Bros. stage is notorious for you dying more to the objects (the Turtles and Crabs on full charge) on screen then you are your opponents. Likewise, to unlock certain awards, you have to build custom stages, and a few are included in the game. These all suck, and it makes choosing Random Stage more like choosing Russian Roulette. They kept some of the all time greats, like Castle Hyrule, but the new levels for the most part aren’t fun and too easy to get knocked out of. I will speak great praises to the moving wallpaper background of Fox’s new level. In a twist, it is probably more enjoyable to be a viewer than a player, being able to watch the epic space battle in the background. Of course, it does make some ponder how the hell everyone is breathing fighting on a moving spaceship.

Before I get into the characters, I would like to make a note of common player styles or archetypes you are likely to encounter. Some are based directly on character play styles, and others are a unique blend of that and player preferences. These are just a few examples of player styles that you will come across.

Berserkers: If the second the game starts and 2 characters are already in the air from damage, you are probably facing a berserker. Berserkers prefer big characters that can do a lot of damage to a lot of characters at once. If you see Ganondorf, Bowser, or Ike, you may be dealing with Berserkers. While their attacks may be slow, when they hit, they hit hard, and again, are likely to take out a few enemies.
How to Play: Choose a big character that can soak a lot of damage, charge into the middle and just keep hitting anyone that comes to you. If they try to snipe, charge them, or go for someone else. Your goal is doing massive damage, not being fancy.
How to Counter: Jugglers can usually stop them; snipers can pick them off from afar and usually retreat away from them, and if all else fails, a double team is nice. Just remember, they can take a lot more damage than you can, and if they land, they will show you that fact.

Jugglers: If you find yourself saying “Dude, knock it off, or I’m chucking this controller at you,” you are facing a Juggler. Jugglers don’t do much damage, but they don’t have to because they will hit you more times than you will hit them. Fortunately for the rest of us, they are also usually the weakest characters in the game, smashable in the 60s. If you see Shiek or Princess, you got a Juggler.
How to Play: You better like being a cheap lil’ shit, because that is the only real way to play these characters. You also have to be quick to stay under your enemy, and prepare for the inevitable other character coming in to take you out. Also remember, you are weak. In a slugfest, you will lose.
How to Counter: As I said, Jugglers don’t do much damage, and they can’t take much either. Sheik may be able to Juggle Ganondorf for minutes, but if he lands and gets an elbow off, she is gone. Teams ups work great, and so does sniping.

Snipers: If you are getting hit from across the screen, you are facing a sniper. Any character with a long range attack can be a sniper: Snake, Pikachu, Pit, Samus, etc. Basically you get as far away from everyone as possible, fire from afar, and when they come up, either knock em back, or get the hell out of there. You are also similar to the Vulture: a powerful move for Samus is to stand back, charge her canon, wait for her enemies to take each other into the triple digits, then fire at the first one in your crosshair. It will usually launch them off screen.
How to Play: First you have to have a character with a long range attack. Roy and Donkey Kong aren’t Snipers. Then you have to be sneaky. Maybe start off with the initial melee, and after you get knocked back, then commence firing. Remember, be on your toes because once someone knows what you are doing, they will beeline for you.
How to Counter: Make a beeline for them as soon as the game starts and don’t let them get distance. Keeping a sniper in melee removes them from their goal. Having a deflect attack also helps, even at a distance.

Duelists: In a way the opposite of the Berserker, the Duelist goes for one person at a time and doesn’t let up. While they can be Jugglers, the Duelist doesn’t care about anyone else, just the one person they target. This can allow them to get a number of kills on that one target, but it also leaves them open to attacks from others, and the ire of their target in the next match.
How to Play: Just be good with your character, and don’t care about what anyone else is doing. Just focus on one opponent and don’t let up.
How to Counter: Bring them back to reality. Remember this is a multiplayer game. If you find yourself under assault from a Duelist, on first chance, head into the other two players. They may kill you, but they will also notice the duelist, and kill him too.

Vultures: A cross between the Sniper and the Berserker, Vultures tend to wait for enemies to come to them, weakened by battles with other players, and take the kill for themselves. These characters usually have an area of effect or powerful smash with range on it, and they sit back, occasionally sending damage at the pack, and then waiting for the moment to swoop in and take the kill.
How to Play: Cheapachu (as I like to call him when I play him) is great for being a vulture. He has a mid-sized range attack, decent melee, and if enemies come at him, the cry of “PIKA!” signals a strike from heaven. It will also probably cause a strike from your friends in real life because they get sick of hearing it and getting hit by it. You can also do it from below, so it doesn’t hurt to get on a different level than your foes. Ike is also great as he has an extremely powerful attack. Charging in while your opponents are busy and getting his smash off can usually take them both out, while you have taken little to no damage.
How to counter: Duelists will really ruin a Vulture’s time, as they will constantly be on top of the Vulture. The way to take them out is the same with Snipers, just make sure you bring them into the mix and don’t let them profit off of your kills.

Now, to go into characters. I won’t go into all of them, as there are more than 20, and some I really don’t like to play (i.e. Sonic, Sheik, ROB). These are the ones I am most commonly seen playing.

Cheapachu: Pikachu is extremely cheap, is decent on the ground, but has tremendous anti-air attacks.
If you see someone in the Air, your Pika! attack won’t let him land. It also has a nice area, so jumping into a fray and doing this attack is sure to hurt your opponents. Don’t be afraid to get into the mix either, as you have a solid smash attacks, and your teleport attack is nice to get out of a bad situation. His SuperSmash lasts a long time, but can be difficult to control, and doesn’t have the massive effect others have, which is my only complaint.

Ike: Talk about a heavy hitter. His forward smash is great at just clearing the board. Remember it is slow to get off, but when you do, congrats. He does have a defense move, which is always nice, and a great dash attack. I used to be a Ganondorf guy, but Ike has taken my heart in regards to power. I don’t remember what his SuperSmash is, however. I think you have to be right next to your enemies to get it off, that or it is one of the cut-scene smashes. In either case, I usually don’t need it with Ike.

Mr. Game & Watch: I loved G&W from the second game, but he was too weak. Easy to knock out, difficult to coordinate his attacks. However I do look fondly on three of us as Game & Watch taking on the best out of our group and the bacon barrage that followed. This time around, he still is fairly easy to knock out, but his attacks are upgraded. His basic melee attack locks up enemies; he is a powerhouse in the air; his smashes are also solid. His shining moment is his SuperSmash: he turns into a giant 2D octopus that fills up most of the screen. While it can be a pain to navigate, it is sure to knockout at least two opponents with his tentacle rape.

Meta-Knight: Supposedly the people who are diehard players of this game have developed Tiers for this game, with characters like Lucas and Ness on the top due to their difficulty at mastering, but power they have if known on top in “God Tier”. Supposedly Meta-Knight is also “top tier.” I think the whole thing is bullshit, because anyone who is great with any character can wreck the screen. I however use Top Tier as a joke with my friends when I slaughter them with Meta-Knight. He has a number of aerial attacks, including his basic attack, and forward attack. He has good smashes, anti-air attacks, and can fly. Really, so long as you have some platform below you, you can be unstoppable, which is usually what happens. His SuperSmash is also a close proximity attack, which sucks if you forget that, but if you get it off, it does spell doom to those near you.

My friends and I have been playing SSBB since it came out (technically a day before it came out). The Wii has taken over as the dominant console, which is a freak change as we all hate the system. However this game is worth the system. I give it a 10 out of 10, as again, it is a game that anyone can win at, is always different, and has given me renewed confidence in Nintendo.

Apr
01

For those of you that don’t know, one of my pledge brothers who went to Full Sail landed a job at Epic Games last summer. After seeing my blog, he called me up the other day and told me about some new features and events about the upcoming Gears of War 2. I have to say, it sounds great from his preview, if a bit cliched in some regards, and only focuses on the single player gameplay. Here is what he told me.

We Need Air Support: You know all those nifty shots of Marcus and company in the Raven’s and not doing anything? Well that’s changed. Sorta like that level from Call of Duty 4, you will be able to man the troika turret on a level where you have to mow down Locust drones climbing up from a chasm as the helicopter flies by. He also told me of a new turret based weapon – a mortar launcher that you will use to attack a swarm of Corpsers and Brumaks assaulting the last human refuge.

You Can Call It Mowing: You think General Raam was a badass for carrying a Troika? Well, he isn’t the only one. A new squad command has your squad gather around a Troika, with one manning it, two squad mates on either side, the last behind you providing cover, while Jack slices the turret off its mount so you can carry it. Although this will leave it with limited ammo, my friend said you will need to do this in certain situations like hallways of death where wretches will just pour in from one end.

Upgrade Your Raam: Speaking of Raam, my friend said he will make an appearance in the second game. That is all he said. Maybe he’s running around with Lt. Kim’s arm?

Must Move Faster: You will finally get a chance to take on the Brumaks. But even more interesting is a mission to go into a locust nest where they are actually making the Brumaks. By making, he means breeding, and outfitting with the weaponry, in a pretty gritty scene. He said taking out the facility will be a tough level, and one where one stray bullet could lead to a warzone and the biggest firefight in gaming history. He also mentioned something along the lines of being able to use Brumak weapons against each other, but nothing more than that.

Is it a Spider?: You thought the Corpsers were creepy? You get to see their young in this game. My friend said you may not want to play in the dark on that level.

Oh God It Burns: New Grenade type. You know in Call of Duty 2 where you would attach those charges that melted right through the German artillery? Now imagine that on your enemies. This new sticky grenade can be used like the previous one: chuck it into locust holes to melt them before the come out; run up and stick them on to your enemies or if you lob the grenade right on your enemy, same thing – it sticks. My friend said a lot of people will get a kick out of sticking these new grenades to enemies and watching as the corrosive burn melts through him as he writhes in pain. Expect a lot of fun with head sticks.

Its All in the Reflexes: A new feature to help combat lobbed sticks – like the special reloading, if someone lobs a grenade at you, if you hit the left bumper at the right moment, your character will catch the grenade and throw it right back.

Get Outta My Head: Remember Anya from her 5 seconds of screen time and then become a typical disembodied female voice driving you along (Hello, Cortana). She will be in the game, and you’ll actually see her with a weapon.  Redemption for the female NPC.

Sacrifices Must Be Made: Someone will die! Yes, some Carmine clones will die, but someone big will die. He didn’t say who, but it will definitely make you go wow.

Thats all he told me about the game, other than the usual new levels, buried cities, etc. He didn’t give me any insight on who or what Myrrah is, but can you blame him? Well, I hope this has been as interesting to you as it has been for me. I can’t wait to pick this game up. And remember, the game isn’t over yet. He told me like the Brumak in the first game, some of these features may not be added in the final release, but to cross our fingers they are.

Mar
31

Due to the success of Whack-A-Mongoose, I thought I would post another Sandtrap Mod.  The complete title is Mad Max on Road Warrior, and you have to do some editing with the map.  The basic idea is this: this is a Team King of the Hill map, with the Hills moving randomly every 2 minutes, and all the Hills are located in the mine fields.  That’s right, not only do you have to defend the hills from your opponents, but you have to survive the mines as well.  The only way to get to the Hills and survive is vehicles, thus there are only fast vehicles on the map: Mongoose, Warthog, and each team has access to a Chopper.  Likewise weapons have been provided to deal with these vehicles: the only ones found on the map are Rocket Launchers and Missile Pods.

And the idea is simple: Take the Hills which move around, and the first team to 10 minutes wins.  And have fun firing rockets at the enemy vehicles.

Mar
25

As a fatass trapped in a 5’11”, 140 lb frame (I’m not fat), trapped behind a desk for 50 hours a week, I enjoy munchies at work, as well as before, during, and after gaming.  For some reason I can pack away more pizza, chips, and soda while gaming then at a normal event.  Probably because I am preoccupied with pwning and not on the layer of crumbs on my jeans.

Anyways, as I age and find myself trying to eat healthier as I am too lazy to actually do exercise and still have the metabolism of a (lazy) cheetah, I also find myself splurging on the weekends, and discovering new snacks to gorge upon.  Here is a list of munchies I enjoy whilst having fun with controllers.

Doritos: Many flavors and shapes (3D) have come and gone.  The Cooler Ranch and Nacho Cheesier will always be staples though.  However there are some really impressive new flavors out.   Blazin’ Buffalo & Ranch and Spicy Nacho/Zesty Taco have quickly become favorites for their diversity and delicity.  Our group has gone through bags of them in the span of an hour.  I recommend picking them up when they are BOGO (Buy One Get One).  Now I will admit there are healthier and better tasting chips out there, but lets face it, Doritos are triangular crack.  This is the reason XBox360 controllers are non-stick, but still, show some courtesy, wipe your hands on your pants or a napkin.

Cookies: Again, what usually gets me on cookies is the BOGO.  Oreos, Chewy Chipsahoy, Soft Batch, whatever, they all taste great.

Candy: I discovered today Werther’s makes chewy caramels.  I know, shocking, but they won the 2007 ChefsBest Best Taste Award.  What does that mean? Other than looking like caramel tootsie rolls and working the same way (I’m going to be picking at bits of caramel off of my teeth for the rest of the day), they taste all right.  In other gaming candy, anything that doesn’t really cause a mess works: chocolate bites like Hershey’s Treasures and Kisses are great because you can throw the foil balls at your friends.  Lollipops and gum, not so much.  Choose lifesavers and jolly ranchers over things that may be found weeks later on the back of a cushion.

Beverages: I enjoy beer.  And Scotch.  And White Russians.  None of those and gaming really mix.  I’ve seen friends vomit and pass out due to inebriation.   When gaming, stick with high caffeine sodas.  Coke is always a solid choice, although my poison of choice, is the Mountain Dew family.  Regular or Code Red only.  I’ll post an article about why Game Fuel is considered an act of torture by the Geneva Convention later.  Or if you want to be healthier, Juices full of sugar, like Juicy Juice will keep the blood flowing.  Sweet/Green Teas are also great, especially if you want to cool down.

Cereals: Milk and Cereal, Milk and Cereal, Cereal and Milk, Cereal and Milk, Cereal and Milk… Yes, I love G-Love, and saw them a few years back at Langerado.  Great show.  Anyways, Milk and Cereal is a suitable snack.  Between the sugartastic Frosted Flakes (They’re Great!) and Cinnamon Toast Crunch, to healthier Chex and Cheerios, eating cereal at 3 am is probably going to be your breakfast, especially when you wake up at 4 pm (I don’t do this, thanks to a full time job, I am lucky to wake up after 1 pm).  I highlight that I prefer to skip the bowl, crap a mug, fill the sucker to the brim, and that way you have something with a handle.

Marijua-hah hah, yeah, not getting into that here.  Although it will make you want to consume all of these.  And more.

Real Foods: Sometimes you want real food and/or Proteins.  Fast Food Burgers are great, especially those with a $.99 value menu.  But that doesn’t exactly feed a group, and if you try, they will fuck up your order.  Pizza is great because it can be affordable and can feed an army.  And sometimes that grease gives you that slight burst of speed on the buttons.  Sandwiches are also a good source of meat, but they usually do take two hands.

I’m sure this hasn’t taught you anything you didn’t already know, but it may have given you perspective into what to choose the next time you call the group over for Brawl or Halo.  Or when you provide none of the above and your fridge is empty the next day.

Later Days,

-Mike